Howler Dispatch: 2017 Privateers rack up miles

Posted on July 18, 2017

The road east was full of fishing, hiking, and bear sightings. Our first stop was Palo Duro Canyon State Park where we saw one of the most astonishing displays of the Milky Way we had ever seen. Fully visible with the naked eye, it was truly incredible.

We breezed through Texas and into Arkansas to meet up with the guys at Dally Ozark Fly Fisher. In the morning, we fished with local legend and head guide, Chad Johnson, who put us on countless beautiful rainbow trout. After hours of throwing hoppers and big streamers, we finally connected with a big brown! A huge thank you to Steve Dally and Chad Johnson!!

Continuing on the journey, we stopped in Smoky Mountains National Park for a few nights of backcountry camping. The Smokys gave us everything we could have asked for and then some: beautiful riverside hiking, scenic overlooks, cliff jumping, and black bears... lots of black bears. Over our two-night stay in the park we managed to see 6 total.

After a week driving east, we finally made it to a little piece of paradise in Virginia called Staunton - the home town of Howler Privateer Sam Roberts. Here we enjoyed some incredible home cooked meals by Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, visited some local breweries and distilleries, fished the Rivanna River, and hiked to one of the most scenic swimming holes the east coast has to offer.

Despite all the fun we were having with friends and family, it was time to start heading south. We spent the 4th of July weekend in Charleston, SC searching for reds, paddle boarding the lowcountry, and putting on our own firework display. We managed to catch our first redfish on the fly with help from Scotty Davis of Lowcountry Fly Shop – thanks Scotty!!

Thirsty for some waves, we decided to make a pit stop in Jacksonville, FL before setting up for trade show number 2, ICAST/IFTD. The Poles at Hanna Park were where we found decent surf. In addition to waves, Jacksonville provided us with a huge check off the bucket list, meeting photographer Chris Burkard. He was in town for a showing of his newest film, “Under an Arctic Sky.” He talked to us about diving into uncertainty and how we need to be storytellers instead of simply photographers. This summer has been full of unknowns and is already one hell of a story. It’s the perfect opportunity to make the most of Chris’s advice.